Brimstone and Nightmares

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With a gut-wrenching twist, everything faded to black. The world was turned inside out and flowing through a long tunnel toward a bright light. There was soon a sensation of pulling in some unseen direction. The world grew blurry and indistinct, bleeding away like the kaleidoscope of death. There was darkness surrounding all and sourceless ambient light, the floor a neutral grey extending only several feet. There were high-pitched songs weakening and bursting into screams. Groans were echoed with resonances of far deeper growls. Shapes moved in the silent blackness, ethereal and unseen. The silence was as suffocating as the endless night.

The warlock turned the dark obelisk crystal around his neck. He could feel the barriers between worlds weakening, much as he had sought with the Vvrael twenty years earlier. Winking into existence above him stared a blood red eye, followed by a deep crimson light and disorientation. The image of the town center filled his mind, flames and screams attending the smell of burning flesh. With its fading he found himself once again in the summoning chamber before the orb, the world aligning with its vision of horror.

Power arced from his gauntlet to the orb. Through the between spaces his surroundings twisted into the jagged plain. The sound of hooves beating was followed by a dark host of nightmare steeds galloping from nothingness, their riders shrieking with the satiation of blood and souls for the nightmare god. In the distance a stray meteor struck the sea of boiling mud with the rain of a scalding geyser. The sky filled with shadows forming into winged monstrosities and ebon winged things with their shrill shrieking. Through the crystal dome he could sense the movements of all the cultists, liches, abominations, and vesperti as they returned to their haunts. The Broken Lands. Foggy Valley. Teras Isle.

The warlock reached to his face carefully removing his vruul mask, its eerie green orbs giving way to his own black eyes. The Sheruvian harbingers rode around the hooded dark elven sorcerer and their own warlocks as the fell beasts loomed overhead in uneasy balances. He stared coldly into the hatred of his counterparts.

"There will be a price for this favor, Dreadlord." The monolith crept on the edge of perception, hidden in spite of standing in plain sight. The krodera and veil iron orb embedded within it winked in a blood red. "In the end we have our own design for these artifacts. Your assistance will no longer be tolerated when they are working completely."

"Your contempt is fragrant." He slowly breathed in the brimstone, ozone mixed with sulfur. The fog swirled around him and the Sheruvian cultists. Unheard music filled the air with the joy of slaughter. "There will soon be a new order, my friends. In every alliance there is a horse and a rider. You must learn not to gnash on your bridles."

"The Blood God is coming." His eyes burned with balefire which then wreathed to his hands. "Become used to obeying my will."

Behind the Scenes

This is set immediately after the invasion of Mist Harbor on 3/31/2019 by a wide range of violent creatures. Close to half of them were things tied to cults in northern parts of the continent. The invasion was orchestrated by an aspect of the Council of Light known as the Flock, which was assisting Nazhor in his goal to "balance" the world. Xorus has had almost zero presence in the events surrounding Nazhor.